You don’t have to be a kindergartener to enjoy a good snow day.

Georgetown cancelled classes in the afternoon on Tuesday and all day on Wednesday after a winter storm covered the streets of Washington, D.C., in ice, snow and slush. The snow day marked the first time Georgetown missed an entire day of classes due to winter weather in four years.

Officials closed the university Tuesday evening at 4 p.m. as rain and sleet began to fall across campus and forecasts predicted worse weather ahead. Sleet gave way to snow during the night, and by the time most students were waking up, a few inches of snow had accumulated. The effects of the storm were felt throughout the city, as tens of thousands lost power and plows struggled to clear roadways.

A group of campus administrators met early Wednesday morning and decided to cancel classes, university spokeswoman Julie Bataille said. The decision was made public through the university Web site and a call-in phone line. University staff were notified by 6 a.m.

Although classes were cancelled, several facilities remained open, including Lauinger Library, O’Donovan Hall and Yates Field House.

Many students and professors took advantage of the break from classes as an opportunity to relax or get work done, but professor Ian Gale and assistant professor Daniel Westbrook, both in the department of economics, were not as pleased with the decision as others. Both professors had to reschedule midterm examinations.

“I think it’s more of an inconvenience to my students than to me,” Westbrook said.

David Dietz (COL ’10), however, whose economics midterm was postponed until yesterday after his Tuesday evening class was cancelled, said that he enjoyed the extra study time.

“I was thrilled because I was frantically studying at 4 p.m. Tuesday afternoon for a 6:15 p.m. economics midterm when, suddenly, somebody flew into the room and told us that school was cancelled for the evening. I jumped up and down . and threw my books in the air,” he said. “Sadly, in my euphoria, I forgot to study,” he added.

Other students found that the snow day was an inconvenience during a hectic midterm week.

Ryan Goldstein (COL ’09), a teaching assistant for a psychology class whose Wednesday midterm was pushed to next week, said that he would rather have had the upcoming three-day weekend to grade students’ tests.

“Next weekend, when I’m going out of town, I’m now going to have to grade 75 tests,” he said.

Many students were excited that the snow day gave them added time to celebrate Valentine’s Day.

“I was able to spend a long time celebrating Valentine’s Day at Uncommon Grounds with my boyfriend because I could work during the snow day,” Christy Darr (COL ’10) said. “He was glad we were able to enjoy our time together.”

But love was not the only thing in the air – many students got creative and used the snow day as an opportunity to do things around campus they had not done before. Kevin Windels (COL ’10) found himself atop the base of the John Carroll statue. “I’d seen other people do it, and I figured, `Well, today is just as good a day as any.’ The only problem was, I’m afraid of heights,” Windels said.

David Gregory (COL ’10) spent the evening sliding down the icy hill near Village C on lunch trays, an old Georgetown snow-day tradition.

“I felt like it was a necessity because it’s an awesome tradition,” he said. “But the trays kept sliding out from underneath me, and I basically sled without them all the way down.”

– Blair Munhofen contributed to this report.

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